Frankly, the closing days before the closing days of an experiment like this are never super exciting. I exiled myself from my co-workers, sat far away from my girlfriend on the couch whenever we watched TV, and killed a whole field of artificial flowers in the obsessive washing of my clothes. Seriously, I cannot thank my laundromat enough for managing to turn me into an air freshener.
My moment of zen, so to speak, came to me in the middle of a Sephora. I promised myself I'd buy a new cologne (while refraining from actually trying any on) as a congratulatory gift for letting myself go for a month. What I hoped would be a brief visit turned into something along the lines of a beautiful sonnet.
A woman approached me and asked me if I needed help choosing a cologne. I could've burst into tears right there. I spent at least half an hour sampling scents with her. She would spritz a piece of paper, hold it up to my nose, and ask me what I thought. It was like Regarding Henry, with Harrison Ford, where he gets shot in the head, loses his memory, and has to learn how to live again. Every single scent felt as though I were smelling it for the first time. Every spritz sent me into a world of olfactory delight as I picked out hints of cedar, tobacco, pepper, and whatever other bullshit people put in cologne.
I ended up buying a $90 bottle of cologne from Sephora that day. And I have the receipt to prove it.
The final two days of the experiment were a blur. I flew to Arizona, which by that point wasn't a big deal because my girlfriend had gotten used to my smell, and I doused myself in cologne when my 30 days were up.
But did I learn anything?
There aren't too many people interested in the ramblings of a man who loved the way he smelled after spending 30 days being stinky, I imagine… but I'll leave you with this little nugget of truth: I fucking love smelling good.
Truly, there was no better feeling than watching my friends get married while a fragrant, incredible odor wafted from my body. Blame it on my generalized anxiety disorder, but every muscle in my body started to relax knowing I smelled good.
Above all, this experiment gave me a heaping dose of reality. I am not a magical being who can evade nature, I am not powerful enough to control my own odor, I am a 30-year-old man who smells like old popcorn, Fritos, and discount cologne when he sweats too much.